G'day Veda,

Thanks for your question.

My understanding is that he has withdrawn from mathematics. He seems to be a man who sticks to his beliefs no matter what. He resigned from his position as a lecturer and is living with his mother. Yet he refuses to accept million dollar prizes.

It appears that he had proven Thurston's geometrization conjecture. If so, this solves in the affirmative the famous Poincaré conjecture, which has been regarded for one hundred years as one of the most important (and most difficult) open problems in mathematics.

Perelman was awarded the Fields Medal,which is widely considered to be the top honor a mathematician can receive. However, he declined to accept the award or appear at the congress.

In May 2006, a committee of nine mathematicians voted to award Perelman a Fields Medal for his work on the Poincaré conjecture. The Fields Medal is the highest award in mathematics; two to four medals are awarded every four years.

Sir John Ball, president of the International Mathematical Union, approached Perelman in St. Petersburg in June 2006 to persuade him to accept the prize. After 10 hours of persuading over 2 days, he gave up. Two weeks later, Perelman summed up the conversation as: "He proposed to me three alternatives: accept and come; accept and don’t come, and we will send you the medal later; third, I don’t accept the prize. From the very beginning, I told him I have chosen the third one." He went on to say that the prize "was completely irrelevant for me. Everybody understood that if the proof is correct then no other recognition is needed."

On August 22, 2006, Perelman was publicly offered the medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid, "for his contributions to geometry and his revolutionary insights into the analytical and geometric structure of the Ricci flow".He did not attend the ceremony, and declined to accept the medal.

He had previously turned down a prestigious prize from the European Mathematical Society, allegedly saying that he felt the prize committee was unqualified to assess his work, even positively.

Perelman is also due to receive a share of a Millennium Prize (probably to be shared with Hamilton). While he has not pursued formal publication in a peer-reviewed mathematics journal of his proof, as the rules for this prize require, many mathematicians feel that the scrutiny to which his eprints outlining his alleged proof have been subjected to exceeds the "proof-checking" implicit in a normal peer review. The Clay Mathematics Institute has explicitly stated that the governing board which awards the prizes may change the formal requirements, in which case Perelman would become eligible to receive a share of the prize. [citation needed] Perelman has stated that "I’m not going to decide whether to accept the prize until it is offered."

Perelman has stated that he is disappointed with mathematics' ethical standards, in particular of Yau's effort to downplay his role in the proof and up-play the work of Cao and Zhu. Speaking about Yau, he has said that "I can’t say I’m outraged. Other people do worse. Of course, there are many mathematicians who are more or less honest. But almost all of them are conformists. They are more or less honest, but they tolerate those who are not honest." He has also said that "It is not people who break ethical standards who are regarded as aliens. It is people like me who are isolated."

This, combined with the possibility of being awarded a Fields medal, led him to quit professional mathematics. He has said that "As long as I was not conspicuous, I had a choice. Either to make some ugly thing" (a fuss about the mathematics community's lack of integrity) "or, if I didn’t do this kind of thing, to be treated as a pet. Now, when I become a very conspicuous person, I cannot stay a pet and say nothing. That is why I had to quit.”

Professor Marcus du Sautoy of Oxford University has said that "He has sort of alienated himself from the mathematical community. He has become disillusioned with mathematics, which is quite sad. He's not interested in money. The big prize for him is proving his theorem."

I think that the Russian Government would love for a Russian to win such a significant award. He apparently had some dispute with the Steklov Institute. Perelman does not seem to be a man who would take much notice of the wishes of the Russian government.

I enclose some sources for your reference.

Regards

Source(s):
Wikipedia Grigory Perelman

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigory_Perelman

International Mathematics Union

http://www.mathunion.org/medals/2006/

UK Telegraph

World's top maths genius jobless and living with mother 20 August

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/08/20/nmaths20.xml

BBC "Maths genius declines top prize" 22 August 2005

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5274040.stm

Anonymous
· 1 decade ago